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Top Romance Books of 2009 by Jennie

We will be posting our Top 10 of 2009 this entire week. Today’s list is from Jennie. The list is unranked. You can find more of her reviews here.

has been an avid if often frustrated romance reader for the past 15 years. In that time she's read a lot of good romances, a few great ones, and, unfortunately, a whole lot of dreck. Many of her favorite authors (Ivory, Kinsale, Gaffney, Williamson, Ibbotson) have moved onto other genres or produce new books only rarely, so she's had to expand her horizons a bit. Newer authors she enjoys include Julie Ann Long, Megan Hart and J.R. Ward, and she eagerly anticipates each new Sookie Stackhouse novel. Strong prose and characterization go a long way with her, though if they are combined with an unusual plot or setting, all the better. When she's not reading romance she can usually be found reading historical non-fiction.


  1. Janine
    Dec 07, 2009 @ 20:52:13

    Nifty list. I have not yet read the Collins, the Kleypas or the Long, but I have enjoyed all the others.

    I didn’t know you had read Pleasure and Purpose and I’m so glad you enjoyed it too!

    And because it’s not linked above, I’ll just point out that you reviewed Scandal also.

  2. Jennie
    Dec 08, 2009 @ 01:37:08

    I just finished Pleasure and Purpose about a week ago; I did enjoy it quite a bit. Thanks for your review, Janine – I probably wouldn’t have tried it otherwise.

  3. dri
    Dec 08, 2009 @ 06:57:37

    I just wanted to say thank you guys So Much for reviewing Meredith Duran. Based entirely on what I read here, I went out and hunted down Bound By Your Touch and both it plus the next one were the most exhilarating literary experiences I’ve had from works written this century. *lol* I never would have known about her fabulous valuable writing if not for you guys. Thank you!

  4. mdegraffen
    Dec 08, 2009 @ 07:48:23

    I’ve read and loved 5 of those: both Durans, both Jewels and the Thomas. Great list!

  5. Jennifer Estep
    Dec 08, 2009 @ 07:52:57

    I loved Smooth Talking Stranger. One of my top books for 2009 too. And I recently read The Hunger Games, which was awesome, and am looking forward to the rest of that series, including Catching Fire.

  6. Anthea Lawson
    Dec 08, 2009 @ 16:00:20

    Ooh, some of my favorites here, too! Great list – I look forward to seeing the other posts.

  7. Jennie
    Dec 08, 2009 @ 18:08:28

    You know, even though I was only able to come up with nine books (my other top reads this year have been non-romance or not published in 2009, or both), it occurs to me that this is a pretty damn fine list. Definitely a case of quality over quantity. Many of these are pretty high on my top 100 of all time. 2009 has not been a bad year for me, romance-reading wise.

  8. EC Sheedy
    Dec 08, 2009 @ 20:29:49

    @dri: Oh, yes on Meredith Duran. I’ve become an avid fan–and I found her here.

  9. Elisa
    Dec 08, 2009 @ 22:29:45

    Hmmmm…I HATED Lisa Kleypas’s Sugar Daddy (I was very happy I got it from the library), although I like her historicals (and a few, I love). Is Smooth-Talking Stranger more of the same? if so, I think I”m going to have to pass, I just didn’t like her contemporary voice. Or is STS a lot better than SD?

  10. Jennie
    Dec 09, 2009 @ 19:27:09

    I liked Smooth Talking Stranger much better than Sugar Daddy, but I didn’t hate SD (I think it was a B- or C+ for me?), so I’m not sure. I would say that STS has more of a conventional-romance plotline than SD, but the voice and style aren’t radically different between the two.

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